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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 22:05

Tragedy Averted Featured

If you were to ask any of the men and women standing uncomfortably in front of the Prescott Council meeting about the incident, they would say they were just doing their job. Thank God they were.

During the Tuesday Council meeting, Police Chief Debora Black took the opportunity to commend 14 Police Officers and Dispatchers for their quick thinking and responses during an event that prevented a tragedy. 

Read: Prescott Woman Booked for Attempted Homicide Following Work Dispute

Here is the commendation that Chief Black read: 

"On December 3, 2016, the Prescott Regional Communications Center received a 911 call from Walmart located at 3050 East State Route 69.  The store manager reported that a current employee of the store had become disgruntled with an earlier incident and she had now returned with a rifle.  

"Prescott Regional Communications Center dispatchers attempted to gather as much information from the store manager as possible to assist the responding officers. They maintained radio contact with the responding officers and updated them as necessary to facilitate their response.  The dispatch supervisor ensured information was being gathered and disseminated as needed and as such, officers arrived on scene quickly, finding a rapidly unfolding and dynamic scene.

"Once on scene, responding officers, having limited information regarding the location of the suspect with the rifle, deployed to the exterior of the store and searched the parking lot for the suspect.  In further attempt to locate the suspect, other officers accessed the store surveillance system and located the suspect outside of the store, relaying that information to the officers deployed on the exterior.  

"Officers immediately contacted the suspect and gave verbal commands to show her hands.  The suspect screamed “shoot me” and “I want to die” multiple times.  While officers held lethal coverage on the suspect and continued to give verbal commands to keep her hands up, the suspect placed her hands in her pockets and refused to obey the officers’ commands.  As officers continued the verbal negotiations with the suspect and held lethal coverage on her, they closed the distance on the suspect and placed her in handcuffs.  The entire time this took place, the suspect made statements about wanting to die and told the officers to shoot her.

"The suspect was taken into custody without any injury and officers located a rifle outside the store along with a knife and instruments used to light a fire.  The suspect admitted to the officers she became upset with store employees so she went home and retrieved the weapons.  The suspect said she intended on killing employees inside the store and only her inability to operate the weapons prevented this from happening immediately.  The suspect was formulating her next action when contacted by the officers and taken into custody.

"Members of the Investigations Section were called out to assist the Operations Bureau with collecting evidence, interviewing the suspect, victims and witnesses, and eventually serving a search warrant on the suspect’s residence where numerous evidentiary items were located.  Detectives worked throughout the day to make certain a strong case was established against the suspect in order to ensure successful prosecution and to keep the people of our community safe.

"The dispatchers, officers and detectives present on December 3, 2016 performed extraordinarily and prevented certain tragedy due to their actions. On behalf of the Prescott Police Department, I commend all of you for your joint effort in maintaining a calm demeanor, exhibiting excellent team work, and embracing our core values of integrity, courage, accountability, respect, and excellence!”

The following people received the Commendation:

Lead Police Officer Matt Medina
Officer Troy Crawford
Officer David Holmes
Officer Jessica Hugus
Officer Andrew Thatcher
Detective Jeremy Brazell
Detective John Hanna
Detective Jack Shapiro
Dispatch Supervisor Vivian Marcott
Dispatcher Jennifer Bass
Dispatcher Billie Denike
Dispatcher Sarah O’Brien
Dispatcher Desiree Ortiz y Davis
Dispatcher Yasmine Sealy

Afterwards, members of the Council shook hands with the recipients of the Commendation, and thanked them for their service. All except Councilwoman Jean Wilcox, who was recovering from illness - she bumped fists with them as she smiled and offered her thanks to the men and women on the dais in the front of the Council Chambers. 

Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2017 08:59
Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.

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Editor Lynne LaMaster


Prescott, Arizona